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> How do you make sure your game involves strategy?
PsychoFreaX
post May 15 2011, 12:27 AM
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And not just luck based? I mean, even creative elements in a battle doesn't mean the game would be more strategic(my personal grudge against Final Fantasy XIII's stagger system). I myself base most of my boss fights around clever tricks that can be done by the Hero's abilities. Like stun a monk during a charged attack to interrupt him. Extended strategies eventually also emerge around it. Of course it also means my heroes would also have a large "variety" of magic and skills.

My mook fights use more simple everyday tricks though. AoE on lotsa enemies, kill the medic etc.

This post has been edited by PsychoFreaX: May 15 2011, 12:29 AM
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hallow eve
post May 15 2011, 04:00 AM
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For strategy purposes I mix the bosses ability tier around a lot. When I say tier I mean, if the last boss was an Ogre Chieftain, he was using slower (I use ATB) attacks that deal heavier damage as well as maybe some attack and defense boosting buffs then the next boss would more likely to be a Darkdagger Assassin, using quick attacks and poisons.

I also like adding in special events like timers, permanent life drain every turn, no healing in this battle, etc...

There's always cool ideas to try. I suggest you look through some manual guides and walkthroughs for popular (and unpopular I guess) RPGs and find some cool ideas ^^


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ikos
post May 15 2011, 03:31 PM
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A good way to implement some ounce of strategy is to give boss-like enemies more involvement with the element efficiencies. Make sure the player can't just begin spamming random attacks out. Persona 3 and 4 did this very where where you could just powerhouse through random mobs of enemies but bosses too time and required you to pay attention to what the enemy was weak to and strong against.

ALSO PLEASE NOTE THAT GIVING ENEMIES 99999HP 9999MP 999ATK/DEF/SPI/AGI IS NOT STRATEGY. EVER. Thank you.


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hallow eve
post May 15 2011, 04:29 PM
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QUOTE (ikos @ May 15 2011, 08:31 AM) *
ALSO PLEASE NOTE THAT GIVING ENEMIES 99999HP 9999MP 999ATK/DEF/SPI/AGI IS NOT STRATEGY. EVER. Thank you.


Most important thing ever... if you want to make an ITS OVER 9000 enemy go stick it in a random dungeon and leave it there for your amusement when the game's beaten. But never, ever make your last boss that, it sucks big time.


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Kaptain J
post May 15 2011, 05:58 PM
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I actually believe that creative elements in battles can potentially be what makes the game strategic. For example, look at Mario & Luigi's battle system. It really engages the player, and whether you do good or do bad depends entirely on how much attention the player pays to it. It's not like the generic RPG battles, where you can win simply by pressing "A" over and over while you watch your favorite TV show. Also, look at Earthbound/Mother. It has an interesting mechanic, which only it has, and which people have recreated for Tankentai. It's basically a scrolling health feature. This adds a lot of strategy (at least timing-wise) in that you can survive fatal attacks if you can heal the dying party member before their health scrolls to 0. Lastly, in terms of skills, make sure you don't do what Mystic Quest did. It's a great game, but the last boss is FAR too easy, because he's weak against your healing magic. Yes, cure can kill the final boss...

Also, equipment can also be extremely strategic, depending on what equipment you have in your game. And in terms of magic, support magic (haste, stop, berserk, etc.) can be great for strategy.


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Pentagonbuddy
post May 15 2011, 07:35 PM
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Boy, I sure have a lot of links I can drop about this subject!

It's really a super broad topic and involves a lot of areas. Penta's two bits, mostly formed from reading a bunch of other things people have said...

1) Start with the battle system and know what it can do.
I mean beyond visual effects like making the sprites poof around and smack each other. Does your battle system come with a reflect mechanic? A specific way of deciding turns? Things like that! Know everything you have to work with, and it really helps to find a central "idea" or "theme" you can build your battle system around. To indulge in myself a bit, one of the Pentalen's current projects is based entirely around mastering an elemental system. I'm bringing it up now because it's something I can easily reference when trying to talk about strategy -- I know it inside out since I made it, ah-hahaha.

And don't think you're limited by what battle system you use! If you want to invent a new system, work within the confines of whatever engine you're using. Even the DBS can be tweaked into something new. To go back to my self-indulgent example, the big custom thing there is the ability to chain together skills to perform damaging combos. It's important to note that the skill combos are based on elements, tying itself to the theme of "master an elemental system".

2) Once you know what's in your toolbox, build your characters!
When you're making your characters, it's generally a good idea to build them around archetypes -- the fighter, the tank, the healer, things like that. It gives the player something they can easily understand and figure out how to use, but don't stop there! Try making different versions within the usual archetypes, or even making your own classes. Using them right out of the can is very predictable, and while that can work for some games, it can reduce the strategy in your game to "get a tank and a healer and someone to blow up enemies", or something really basic.

3) Once you have characters, make your enemies.
I recommend fitting most enemies into archetypes, too. Stick them in troops that allow them to work well together. (An enemy that can heal in a group of fighter-type enemies, but the fighter-type enemies would protect the healer with their own support abilities.) Don't just slap abilities onto them, or make them able to inflict a variety of status effects! Build them a bit like how you would make players, though really there are so many ways to approach designing enemies that it's a topic and a half all on its own.

4) Allow the player to actually have choices.
I would say this is one of the most important things to remember, if not the most important. You don't create strategy by pulling things like "Well the big hairy wolf is weak to having its fur set on fire, so just do that for a bit and boom, it's dead." That just changes the "spam attack" problem to "spam fire". There's no choice about it, you'll pick the fire ability for as long as you can if you know the enemy is weak to fire. This kind of strategy really works well as an introduction to an elemental system, however. A rather drawn-out example, but...

Say you're in the Noob Cave and you run into a bunch of slimes. They're all painfully weak to fire and just melt in one hit if you use it. This makes any battles with the slimes very easy, which is great for your garden-variety battles -- not everything needs to be a 10 turn struggle of epic proportions. Then you get to the boss, and it's a giant slime. Most players will use a fire skill on it right off the bat, but what's this? It's such a big pile of goo that the fire isn't much more effective than a regular attack! Now, if you were a nice developer, you'd have dropped hints of some kind that hey, maybe ice would be useful here. So the player uses an ice skill, but... that's not entirely effective, either! However, now the slime could be sensitive to fire spells, and while this would prompt the player to spam as much fire as they could while the boss was vulnerable, it's a lot more rewarding than just using a single ability the entire battle right off the bat.

There are a lot of things you can do to encourage choices, and a lot of it depends on how each part of your battle system relates to the next. Take status effects: by tying them to something like elements, suddenly it might be a good idea to use that darkness spell on an enemy that won't take much damage on it, because darkness can inflict blindness, and the enemy in question is a heavy-hitting physical attacker. Alternatively you could try to paralyze him with a thunder spell, or expend resources in an attempt to inflict as much damage as possible so you could kill the bastard quickly.

Tl;dr: THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS YOU CAN DO. VERY FEW ARE CERTAIN GUARANTEES, HOWEVER. Also slavery


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GrandmaDeb
post May 15 2011, 08:48 PM
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Yeah, after playing OriginalWij's game, I'll have to admit I think you should pick a Battle System and integrate it into your gameplay and story early on.

Plus have fun puzzles! =) I love puzzles!


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PsychoFreaX
post May 15 2011, 10:44 PM
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QUOTE (Kaptain J @ May 16 2011, 03:58 AM) *
I actually believe that creative elements in battles can potentially be what makes the game strategic. For example, look at Mario & Luigi's battle system. It really engages the player, and whether you do good or do bad depends entirely on how much attention the player pays to it. It's not like the generic RPG battles, where you can win simply by pressing "A" over and over while you watch your favorite TV show. Also, look at Earthbound/Mother. It has an interesting mechanic, which only it has, and which people have recreated for Tankentai. It's basically a scrolling health feature. This adds a lot of strategy (at least timing-wise) in that you can survive fatal attacks if you can heal the dying party member before their health scrolls to 0. Lastly, in terms of skills, make sure you don't do what Mystic Quest did. It's a great game, but the last boss is FAR too easy, because he's weak against your healing magic. Yes, cure can kill the final boss...

Also, equipment can also be extremely strategic, depending on what equipment you have in your game. And in terms of magic, support magic (haste, stop, berserk, etc.) can be great for strategy.


I'm not saying that creative elements don't add strategy to a game. I'm saying some don't but some can. So just because you had some creative idea for your battle system don't just jump the gun and think your game's already more strategic. Hell it may even encourage impulsive gameplay even more cough*stagger*cough. I try to be creative with my game making but at the same time I like to make impulsive button mashers suffer.
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new
post May 16 2011, 12:29 AM
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play card games, you can get real strategy ideas from them. prolly one of the most enjoyable thing is being overrun by enemies. it's what i'll be implementing in my SRPG. tactic RPGs are ovbious that it needs strategies. turn based system have strategies but are not usually obvious in them. well an example would be pokemon, it has lots of the basic strategies.

having a boss that has 999999999 HP invloves strategy - well if you provide the skills for the playable characters that is like demi - halves target HP. or like destroy the enemy shield in three turns, the boss heals every 4 turns with 9999. the game becomes more than just an endurance battle. if a boss uses deadly AoEs that leaves your party members in critical condition, this involves great strategy that is. since if all members are knocked out its defeat. moreover, some boss battles involve having unique skills/items needed and weakness to be exploited. an example would be a poison hydra, you'll need sa poison talisman so as not to be poisoned by the deadly poison breath.


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PsychoFreaX
post May 16 2011, 03:38 AM
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Card games now that's what I'm talking about. In fact I like to imagine how Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh would play my games laugh.gif . Though I think it's a little too simple if the strategies only involve having specific items or using specific abilities against a specific boss. By being similar to card games I meant winning by taking advantage of the mechanics.

For example one of my bosses has the ability to nerf either your attack, defense, speed and magic. However, you soon figure that the nerfs only last for a certain amount of time. But it's too disadvantageous to fight with too many nerfs already set on you. If only you get some time for you to recover. One player's method may be to put the enemy to sleep and guard until your stats go back to normal. If your magic nerf gets removed early you can heal yourself a little.
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kingsofrpg
post May 16 2011, 04:07 AM
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Attack patterns with bosses charging up moves where if you deal X amount of damage or inflict a state it cancels it, or maybe the attack just goes through no matter what and you have to be prepared to guard and heal. And bosses should inflict state changes


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PsychoFreaX
post May 16 2011, 10:40 PM
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QUOTE (kingsofrpg @ May 16 2011, 02:07 PM) *
Attack patterns with bosses charging up moves where if you deal X amount of damage or inflict a state it cancels it, or maybe the attack just goes through no matter what and you have to be prepared to guard and heal. And bosses should inflict state changes


I have it so that when there's a charged attack the boss can only perform it on their next turn. So if we managed to stun them or put them to sleep in that time, preferably stun(less mp), they'll miss their chance. Hey it's more strategic than ninety percent of all the games out there.
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EZaxess
post May 20 2011, 09:06 PM
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Something I have noticed with most rpg maker games I've played is; people focus so much on bosses that they forget normal encounters should be involving strategy too.

I think it's always fun to have that specific mob do x thing, and that other one do y thing too. Not just bosses require special x-y moves. Just my 2 cents.


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Anna
post May 21 2011, 12:04 AM
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There is a lot of things you can do with events in battle, scripts and what not.

Last boss I made was a fire boss. It had a heat mechanic (saved as a variable). Each damage action taken by the party (spell, attack) increases the heat. If heat exceeds 100 (I think it was) the boss starts dealing additional damage. To lower the heat you will have to just use non-damaging spells for a whole turn. The boss also does some more abilities which I can't remember for the moment.. but this can be done quite easily with events. Not a hard boss exactly and it is found quite early in my game.. however this boss mechanics makes the player having to manage something (the heat), make choices (which turns to skip dealing damage) and have to do something out of the ordinary.
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PsychoFreaX
post May 21 2011, 12:24 AM
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QUOTE (EZaxess @ May 21 2011, 07:06 AM) *
Something I have noticed with most rpg maker games I've played is; people focus so much on bosses that they forget normal encounters should be involving strategy too.

I think it's always fun to have that specific mob do x thing, and that other one do y thing too. Not just bosses require special x-y moves. Just my 2 cents.


As I said, my normal encounters mostly only take common sense and not making mistakes. Strategies that you can find in any other RPG. I save up my more clever tricks for the bosses.

QUOTE (Anna @ May 21 2011, 10:04 AM) *
There is a lot of things you can do with events in battle, scripts and what not.

Last boss I made was a fire boss. It had a heat mechanic (saved as a variable). Each damage action taken by the party (spell, attack) increases the heat. If heat exceeds 100 (I think it was) the boss starts dealing additional damage. To lower the heat you will have to just use non-damaging spells for a whole turn. The boss also does some more abilities which I can't remember for the moment.. but this can be done quite easily with events. Not a hard boss exactly and it is found quite early in my game.. however this boss mechanics makes the player having to manage something (the heat), make choices (which turns to skip dealing damage) and have to do something out of the ordinary.


Well it's cool if you can provide a way for the characters to counter that boss' ability. So do you have to focus more on buffs and nerfs for that battle or something?

This post has been edited by PsychoFreaX: May 21 2011, 12:33 AM
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Anna
post May 21 2011, 11:55 AM
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QUOTE (PsychoFreaX @ May 21 2011, 01:24 AM) *
Well it's cool if you can provide a way for the characters to counter that boss' ability. So do you have to focus more on buffs and nerfs for that battle or something?


Yeah, buffs - debuffs. Each class got a few short duration buffs they can refresh and such. Perhaps even do some self-healing to save the mana of the healer. Its up to the player how they deal with it smile.gif If they choose to just ignore the mechanic it will be game over quite soon unless they find a way of surviving (by outleveling the encounter heavily or something)
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BlackMuffin
post Jun 2 2011, 07:03 PM
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私は、日本語は話せません。
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QUOTE (Anna @ May 21 2011, 07:55 AM) *
Yeah, buffs - debuffs. Each class got a few short duration buffs they can refresh and such. Perhaps even do some self-healing to save the mana of the healer. Its up to the player how they deal with it smile.gif If they choose to just ignore the mechanic it will be game over quite soon unless they find a way of surviving (by outleveling the encounter heavily or something)

So, pretty much you're saying that you shouldn't just randomly assign skills to a boss, but that instead the boss should have skills that could defeat the characters, but the characters also have a way of countering those exact same skills. Using buffs and debuffs would increase the player's ability to kick ass strategically.

In short, you should take extreme consideration of the characters involved when making a boss, correct?


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PsychoFreaX
post Jun 2 2011, 11:13 PM
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QUOTE (BlackMuffin @ Jun 3 2011, 05:03 AM) *
So, pretty much you're saying that you shouldn't just randomly assign skills to a boss, but that instead the boss should have skills that could defeat the characters, but the characters also have a way of countering those exact same skills. Using buffs and debuffs would increase the player's ability to kick ass strategically.

In short, you should take extreme consideration of the characters involved when making a boss, correct?


Of course, well that's in my opinion. But everyone hates my opinion. But what I do when I design my bosses is making CERTAIN there's at LEAST one clever and effective trick to beating them. Other tricks often emerge around it. But as I said, everyone(or I'm hoping just most) hates my opinion. The games I'm planning isn't really for everyone. The games I'm planning are designed more to be a thrill for some(I hope) rather than popular.

This post has been edited by PsychoFreaX: Jun 2 2011, 11:21 PM
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Getdizzy
post Jun 2 2011, 11:57 PM
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QUOTE (PsychoFreaX @ Jun 2 2011, 07:13 PM) *
Of course, well that's in my opinion. But everyone hates my opinion. But what I do when I design my bosses is making CERTAIN there's at LEAST one clever and effective trick to beating them. Other tricks often emerge around it. But as I said, everyone(or I'm hoping just most) hates my opinion. The games I'm planning isn't really for everyone. The games I'm planning are designed more to be a thrill for some(I hope) rather than popular.


Nah, bro, I don't hate your opinion. I hate your arrogant douche attitude. Have fun with that belief that everyone hates you because your ideas are SOOOO much better and they are all idiots.

I really hope you enjoy being a pariah.

smile.gif

(Seriously, if you can't see why you come off as an asshole, I have no idea what to say to you anymore. Especially when you made a second thread that pretty much called everyone out like you are some hotshot developer.)
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PsychoFreaX
post Jun 3 2011, 12:08 AM
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QUOTE (Touchfuzzy @ Jun 3 2011, 09:57 AM) *
Nah, bro, I don't hate your opinion. I hate your arrogant jerk fayse D8< attitude. Have fun with that belief that everyone hates you because your ideas are SOOOO much better and they are all idiots.

I really hope you enjoy being a pariah.

smile.gif

(Seriously, if you can't see why you come off as an asshole, I have no idea what to say to you anymore. Especially when you made a second thread that pretty much called everyone out like you are some hotshot developer.)


That thread was originally meant to be about giving examples of what smart things you can do in the game. It actually turned out better on some other forums at least now that I think about it. I didn't want to derail though. Anyways so where did I go off with the self praising in that thread exactly? I'm just asking.

This post has been edited by PsychoFreaX: Jun 3 2011, 12:24 AM
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